MIT Global Studies and Languages (GSL) is a hub for international languages and cultural studies within the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (SHASS) at MIT. Babel newsletter brings you GSL news and events.


  • Leanna Rezvani designed and now maintains the website for the newly founded Marguerite de Navarre Society/La Société Marguerite de Navarre.
  • Bruno Perreau published a short article titled “Transmettre” for an edited volume edited by Antoine Idier on LGBTQ+ archives in France (Paris, Ed. Textuel, 2018) in October.
  • Bettina Stoetzer received a contract for her book, Ruderal City, from Duke University Press.

Lectures, seminars, conference presentations

  • GSL was well-represented at the 7th Annual Conference of the New England Chinese Language Teachers Association at Tufts University October 6. Tong Chen chaired a panel and delivered a research paper entitled “Examining Reading and Writing Teaching to Non-Heritage Students.” Panpan Gao presented a paper, “Improving Language Proficiency by Using Authentic Materials in Business Chinese Class.” Min-Min Liang presented “Strategies for Improving Literacy Skills.” Kang Zhou presented “Thoughts on Developing a Structured Chinese Calligraphy Course at College Level.”
  • A Language Pedagogy Round Table sponsored by GSL was held at MIT on October 22, moderated by Maria Khotimsky, with presentations: by Tong Chen, “Using QQ for discussing current topics”; Panpan Gao, “A Classical poem and my own story”; Min-Min Liang, “Using QFT (Question Formulation Technique Approach)”; and Kang Zhou, “Using WeChat to communicate effectively with Chinese native speakers”
  • Takako Aikawa presented “Meaningful Language Learning by Virtual Technologies: Vision for Future Language Learning” at the New England Regional Association for Language Learning Technology (NERALLT 2018) October 11-12 at Boston University.
  • Ian Condry will give a talk on October 25 at Boston University as part of a symposium “On the Edge: Cultural Appropriation or Cultural Sharing?” sponsored by BU Center for the Study of Asia. His talk is called “‘Wamono’ Boom: Japanese hip-hop DJs discover their roots in local funk, soul and disco.”
  • Jane Dunphy gave a workshop Oct. 10 for MIT’s International Students Office: “Partners in Active Learning: Techniques for Taking Charge of Your MIT Education.” On Oct. 22, she will be consulting on the design of curriculum and materials for graduate student communication for the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. On Oct. 26, AC Kemp and Jane Dunphy will be hosting the annual symposium of the Ivy-Plus International TA Network, which brings together professionals from major universities in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, including Harvard, Brown, Yale, Cornell, Columbia and Johns Hopkins, to explore the intersection of English as an academic lingua franca and classroom pedagogy. The focus this year will be “Gaming and ITA Development.”
  • Paloma Duong giving a talk at Williams College on 10/20 as part of The Annual Plonsker Family Lecture in Contemporary Art. Her talk will be titled “Images of Ourselves: Auto-ethnography and Portable Postsocialisms.”
  • Eric Grunwald presented “Writing at MIT” to international students as part of the ISO’s “Re-Orientation” series on October 4.
  • Haohsiang Liao was invited to deliver a plenary speech titled “The Future of Global Language MOOCs Education at MIT” at the International Scientific Conference on Informatization of Continuing Education (ICE-2018) by the People’s Friendship University of Russia on October 15. He also gave a presentation on a similar topic titled “MandarinX: Disruptive Innovation in MOOC Chinese Language Education” at the Third Harvard International Conference on Chinese Pedagogy on September 29.
  • Bruno Perreau gave a presentation on queer theory in France to the seminar Gender, Sexuality & Law, at Mc Gill University on September 13. On October 3, he gave a talk at Brown on the role of gender studies, in the context of the revision of the bioethics laws in France. On October 11, Perreau participated in a debate at Boston University on the French movie “120 Beats per Minute.” And on October 19, he introduced the biennial conference of the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture in Oakland, CA. He also presented a paper on “the future of adoption in a technological age” on October 20.
  • William Uricchio reports that in October he gave a two-day workshop on innovative approaches to media historical research at the University of Siegen in Germany, followed by a keynote for the SFB ‘Media of Cooperation’ initiative at Siegen. He was also named a Merkator Fellow in Siegen. October also brought a lecture at a conference on Turning Points in Global Media History at the University of Michigan and lectures on interactive and algorithmic story forms in China at the Communication University of China in Beijing and the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei. In November, William will give a keynote at a conference in Hannover Germany on rule systems, constraint and freedom in comics and games, looking ahead to emerging algorithmic systems.  And later in the month, he will be at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) for a talk on the MIT Open Documentary Lab’s work in the area of co-creation, and to launch a new research collaboration between IDFA’s Doclab and his lab at MIT.
  • Jing Wang gave two talks: “What Happens in the Post-Weibo Era in China,”  Program in Asian and Middle East Studies, William and Mary, on October 1; and “China’s Gray Zone: Non-Confrontational Activism on the Social Web” at the Confucius Institute, UC Santa Barbara on October 15.

Hangeul Day

Hee-Jeong Jeong reports that the Korean language program celebrated the 572nd Hangeul Day on October 11. Hangeul is the Korean writing system created by King Sejong the Great and promulgated to the public on October 9, 1453. Fifty-one students in Korean language classes (both current and former students) joined the festivities including a Golden Bell quiz game and a Bingo game. This event, not only allowed students to meet fellow students who are taking/took Korean language classes, it also encouraged students’ interests in Korean language, culture, and history. In addition, this event helped identify students’ specific interests in Korea so that we can accommodate their needs in the curriculum. This event was funded by MISTI-Korea and will be held annual with its support.

Mindfulness and Medicine – March 8 – Hold the date!

Sister Dang Nghiem will speak on  “Mindfulness and Medicine” on Thursday, March 8, 2019. Sister Dang Nghiem is a monastic disciple of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the author of two books Healing: A Woman’s Journey from Doctor to Nun and Mindfulness As Medicine. Sister Dang Nghiem, joined by sister Truc Nghiem, will also be leading a meditation session the following morning, on Friday, March 8. This event is the second in a series of annual lectures that are part of the T.T. and W.F. Chao Distinguished Buddhist Lecture Series.  MORE INFO

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